Episode 11: Is There a Right Way to Travel Like a Local?

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Bruce Poon Tip, founder + CEO of G Adventures

As the founder and CEO of G Adventures, the largest small-group adventure travel company in the world, Bruce Poon Tip understands the importance of making connections with local communities. Bruce started G Adventures with two maxed-out credit cards after a transformational backpacking trip to Asia in 1990 and has seen dramatic changes in the travel industry ever since. Bruce shares how travelers can bridge the divide between mainstream travel and more authentic experiences – all while being mindful of the locals.

“I believe that travel can be a force for good for the first time.”

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Emily Bernard, co-founder of PlacePass

After decades of traveling, Emily Bernard realized that her most cherished memories were from local experiences. She also realized that finding those experiences often took a lot of time and effort to research. She co-founded PlacePass in the hopes of simplifying that research by aggregating diverse tours from all of the world on one central website. From influential Instagram posts to increased supply, Emily shares why more and more people are searching for that perfect local moment.

“We have unprecedented access to what local life looks like in any destination.” 

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Graeme Jackson, The Travel Foundation

Graeme Jackson joins the show from The Travel Foundation, a non-profit working to bring the benefits of tourism to a destination’s locals and the environment. By looping together stakeholders, Graeme and his team seek to minimize the negative impact of tourism by embedding sustainable practices into their policies while sharing their results in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others to develop tourism more responsibly.

“There is a bit of a backlash, potentially, against going local if everyone wants to avoid the tourism, if everyone wants to go local.”

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Stephanie Altwassi, A Piece Of Jordan

Stephanie Altwassi launched A Piece Of Jordan as a community tourism project to combat media stereotypes about the Middle East while giving travelers the opportunity to see the real Jordan. Tourists can take part in a traditional Jordanian meal, go horseback riding, and have open conversations about everything from current events to family life.

“A lot of the time people come expecting to only spend an hour or hour and a half and just eat and leave. The experience that we’ve had is that nobody stays less than three hours.”

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Music courtesy of RTB45, CC; Photo by Fancy Crave